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Disease and DiscriminationPoverty and Pestilence in Colonial Atlantic America$
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Dale L. Hutchinson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813062693

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813062693.001.0001

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Merchants and Maladies

Merchants and Maladies

Chapter:
(p.45) 4 Merchants and Maladies
Source:
Disease and Discrimination
Author(s):

Dale L. Hutchinson

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813062693.003.0004

This chapter examines how the economic transformation of America changed multiple aspects of native lifestyle and facilitated the transmission of infectious disease. Deer became a prime source of revenue, as did other fur-bearing animals. Smallpox, measles, and influenza are used as examples of those early colonial diseases. It was in the climate of commercial enterprise that the French, Dutch, and British all competed to establish relationships with native trading partners and build permanent colonial outposts. The northern territories where New France was established were only sparsely peppered with French, mostly traders. Despite their ambitions for success, in 1627 New France still had only 85 colonists, all men and all at Quebec. The Dutch realized that they also needed to protect their trade partnerships and established New Amsterdam (modern New York) at the mouth of the Hudson in 1625. At the same time, they extended their merchant efforts to agriculture in adjacent areas on Long Island into the present-day New Jersey. The mid-Atlantic remained open for English colonization.

Keywords:   Smallpox, Measles, English colonization, New Amsterdam

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